Whether you live in Montreal or just visit Quebec’s largest city, there are great opportunities to travel by road in almost any direction, whether you want to explore nature, discover historic cities or cross the border with the United States.
From national parks on both sides of the border to some of North America’s most interesting cities, wineries and castles, we have a definitive list of road trips from Montreal so you can choose your next adventure.
Starting with the shortest, I’ve listed them in ascending order. If you are looking for a journey that will take you further, and you still have a week or two to go, scroll down!
1 hour 35 minutes from Montreal (129 km)
The landscape of the Adirondack Park is breathtaking – the view from Mount Marcy.
GB Design Den/Shutterstock.com
The shortest route on our list does not spoil and leads directly to the border south of Montreal, which crosses the United States. Adirondak Park is a large forest reserve that covers a large part of the state of New York.
The region is home to the Adirondacks, some 10,000 lakes and endless rivers. The vast area of 9,375 square miles that begins almost immediately after crossing the border with Canada is only a fraction of the size of the entire neighboring state of Vermont!
If you love nature, the Adirondak offers many opportunities to explore it – the walk is unbeatable and you can explore the waterways by canoe or kayak.
Winter can be very cold and harsh with temperatures below -35°C (-30°F), but there are many winter sports, whether you like skiing or downhill. Lake Placid is located in the park and is known as one of the 3 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics twice.
To reach Adirondak Park, head south on Highway 15, which turns into the I-87 in the United States. The park covers the shores of Lake Champlain and stretches from there to the west and south.
If you really want to get away from civilization, head to the High Peaks wilderness south of Lake Placid – the drive from Montreal takes just over 2 hours and you will see beautiful scenery that is perfect for hiking.
1 hour 35 minutes from Montreal (130 km)
Montebello is a charming town surrounded by the beautiful nature of Quebec.
The small but charming town of Montebello lies on the Ottawa River, about halfway between Montreal and the capital of Canada, and is surrounded by beautiful forests.
The journey from Montreal to Montebello takes about 90 minutes – take Highway 50 west of Montreal towards Gatineau and after about 30 km find a fork in the road.
A famous politician by the name of Louis-Joseph Papineau lived in Manoara Papineau for several decades and the city adopted the informal name he gave to his estate.
In addition to the historic country house, Montebello has the largest wooden house in the world, the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. A spa and a very decent restaurant is a great way to spend a night or two if your budget allows it!
If you’re a gourmet, you’re in luck. The local cheese factory in Montebello offers several fantastic cheeses that have won major international awards, a traditional Chocomotion chocolate factory and even the local artisanal brewery Les Brasseurs de Montebello.
1 hour 45 minutes from Montreal (154 km)
The city of Burlington lies directly on the picturesque Lake Champlain.
If you’re looking for a place where you can look at the water of a picturesque lake for a few days and do nothing else, then you need to cross the border from Montreal to Vermont.
Lake Champlaign is located just above the state and separates Vermont, in the west, from the state of New York. Burlington is a beautiful waterfront town with a historic centre of cobbled streets and old buildings from the 18th and early 19th centuries.
It may seem like a sleepy town (as it is!), but Burlington is certainly the largest town (we’ll use the word sparingly!) in Vermont with 60,000 inhabitants if you include its southern neighbour, Burlington.
Around there is a lot of nature to discover if you want to go out and start life on a slow path. Vermont’s capital, Montpellier, is a short drive away.
It is the smallest American capital with less than 8,000 inhabitants, but it is perfect for a day trip!
1 hour 45 minutes from Montreal (161 km)
The border between Canada and the United States is via the Derby Line in Vermont.
Erica J. Mitchell/Shutterstock.com
The border between the United States and Canada extends for the most part far from any city – through lakes and rivers, through wild mountainous terrain and through areas with very rare populations between North Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The same does not apply to the border between Quebec and Vermont, which runs through the cities of Derby Line (VT) and Stansted (QC), a short drive south of Montreal.
These two sleepy towns on either side of the border are worth a detour for the pure pleasure of the border, which not only runs through the city centre and divides the streets into a Canadian and an American side, but also shares many buildings, including a computer shop and the local Haskell Library, which has separate entrances for each country.
Although it is rather strange that there are houses on both sides of the long streets in different countries, border security has increased in recent years. Therefore, be careful not to accidentally cross the border, as this can lead to real problems when crossing the border illegally.
To control life on the other hand, there are 4 official border crossings where you can travel between the two countries – it may take a few minutes to check your documents and your car, but it’s usually a fairly simple process.
1 hour 55 minutes from Montreal (142 km)
The breathtaking forests of Mont-Tremblant National Park make you feel like you’re millions of miles away from Montreal.
The ideal weekend getaway from Montreal, Mont Tramblanc is about 90 minutes from Highway 15 and the national park is a little further north of the city.
The city is a great place to spend a night or two – there are charming little cobbled streets, almost European buildings, two local craft breweries, a Scandinavian health resort and even a cheese fondue in restaurant La Savoia.
In winter Montremblanc is a very popular place for skiing. The ski area is relatively small and at weekends it can be very busy, with Montreal and Ottawa nearby, but if you only ski for a short period of time it can be a great place to relax – don’t forget that in winter it can be very cold.
In summer the national park offers some of the best hiking trails in Quebec – the forests and mountains form a very picturesque landscape. There are paths leading to waterfalls, kayaking and many other ways to explore the local nature.
For those who want a little more adrenaline, go over the rope bridges of the Via Ferrata Du Diable and lie on rocks 200 metres above the river Diable that flows underneath.
at 2 hours 10 minutes from Montreal (198 km)
Ottawa is the seat of the Canadian Parliament in the beautiful Centre Block.
Maurizio De Mattei
The journey from Montreal to Ottawa takes just over two hours. You can take Highway 50 on the north coast of the Ottawa River, Highway 17 on the south bank, Ontario 417 or the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall and head north from there.
The time differences between the routes are small, so you can drive and return on different routes with English and French markings.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the seat of parliament, and it is the best place to start your trip to the city.
The middle block of Parliament Hill looks very European, like many in Ottawa. Not only can you enter, but you can also take part in free excursions where you can learn all about the history of the building.
Afterwards, you can stroll along the Rideau Canal or take a boat trip on the canal in summer, visit the ByWard Market and explore the city’s many museums and art galleries.
The town of Gatineau, located across the river in Quebec, is also worth a visit. It looks more like Ottawa than a completely separate city.
Gatineau Park and the Canada History Museum should be on your agenda. The latter is the most visited museum in Canada and has beautiful exhibitions and an IMAX theatre.
at 2 hours 25 minutes from Montreal (207 km)
Stou is one of the most popular ski resorts in Vermont and is located near Montreal.
Stow is a very popular ski resort in Vermont, about 45 minutes drive from Burlington (see #3 above) and half an hour from the state capital of Montpellier.
Yes, it’s another one of the many trips from Montreal to the United States, but it’s worth it!
The fastest and easiest way to get to Stow is to cross the American border at Highgate Springs Stow. Armand/Philipsburg and further south to Burlington. From there the I-89 will take you to Vermont, and in Waterbury you’ll see signs for Stow.
Although Stow is located in the United States, Montreal is the nearest major city to the station. As other ski resorts are closer to Boston and New York, this means Stow isn’t as crowded as places like Killington.
It’s not a big resort – only 12 lifts go up the mountain, although most of the big chairlifts are, and there’s a fast gondola lift to Cliff House.
If you want to ski more, the small Smugglers Notch ski area is only 15 minutes away by car.
Away from the slopes, the town of Stoue is full of charm and history. In the wood-lined buildings there are local shops and restaurants, and the hotels are generally very good, although a little off the beaten track.
to 2 hours 30 minutes from Montreal (226 km)
Thousand Islands National Park of Canada has an endless number of islands, bays and waterways to explore.
The Thousand Islands region lies on the border between Canada and the United States, where the St. Lawrence River flows into Lake Ontario.
The national park is located on the Canadian side and includes a large number of islands, from the largest of which, Wolfe Island, to many smaller islands scattered around.
Some of the islands in this region are privately owned, including the mysterious Deer Island, which is believed to belong to the secret society Skull and Bones, so you’ll have to check which one you can visit.
There are many excursions and boat cruises you can take from Gananooka and Kingston (see point 13 below) or you can hire your own boat to explore them – but be careful as the international border crosses the river with part of the archipelago to the United States!
Boldt Castle is located on one of the islands crossing the border. The castle was originally built by millionaire George Boldt, but in 1904 construction was stopped and the castle was never completed. It is open to visitors during the summer months, and construction of the castle is still in progress with income, although at the current rate it will probably take some time.
2 hours 40 minutes from Montreal (255 km)
Much of the old part of Quebec City dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Quebec City is further from Montreal along the St. Lawrence River – Highway 40 along the north bank of the river takes just over 3 hours, but you can shorten the journey in 20 minutes by taking the Trans-Canada Highway along Highway 20.
One of the oldest cities in North America, Quebec and the entire province is named after the ancient Algonquin word Where the River Narrows.
Founded in 1608, Quebec City is the only ancient historic fortified city in Canada or the United States. They have cobbled streets, a castle on a hill and beautiful stone buildings all around.
Quebec City is ideal for a holiday in the city – it’s big enough for a few large museums, galleries and restaurants, but small enough for a very pleasant stroll.
You can also use Quebec City as a starting or finishing point for long-distance journeys – the Jacques-Cartier National Park (#12 below) is close to the city, while Tadusac (#18) and the Saguenay Fjords (#19) are still on St. Peter’s Square.
at 3 hours 10 minutes from Montreal (230 km)
The rocky hills and lakes of La Mauricie National Park are the perfect place to spend a weekend away from Montreal.
It can be a little unfair to book more than three hours for a trip to La Mauricie National Park, and many people who live in Montreal will tell you that it’s only about two hours away.
However, the road through the park can take some time, depending on where you get to the park.
Of course the entrance to Chavinigan is only two hours from Montreal, but popular destinations such as Waber Falls or Lake Karibu are 45 minutes from the park, and Lake Edward is more than three hours away.
On the menu are hiking trails and paths along lakes, streams and waterfalls. Take Highway 40 to Les Trois Rivières and turn north on arrival – the entrance to the park is near the Grand Mer.
Don’t forget to stop at La Trois Riviera on your way to and from the airport. It is the second oldest city in Quebec, after Quebec City, founded in 1634.
The old town is small, but along the Ursulinenstraße you see many beautiful historic buildings, some of which date from the 17th century. century.
3 hours 10 minutes from Montreal (285 km)
The Swift River flows along Cancamagus Road in the White Mountain National Forest.
The White Mountain National Forest covers a large area of 1,200 square miles in New Hampshire. The best way to get there is to avoid the most crowded intersection in Philippsburg and instead take Highway 10 to the east to Magog. From there, head south to the Stansted Derby line (it’s worth stopping there! See number 4 above).
I-91, followed by I-93, takes you to the Connecticut River, which forms the border between Vermont and New Hampshire. The Whiet Mountain National Forest begins as soon as you cross the river and pass the Littleton.
There are many fantastic hiking trails, camping facilities and all kinds of outdoor activities you could wish for.
The highest mountain in the northeast of the United States is also here, and if you don’t want to climb it, you’re in luck. If you pay $31 per car plus $9 per passenger, you can drive the whole distance. The view is spectacular, but be careful – the road gets winding and very steep in some places.
The wind can be very strong if you go higher up, and even if you come in summer, remember that it can be much cooler if you go up there.
3 hours 10 minutes from Montreal (301 km)
Jacques-Cartier National Park, in the north of Quebec, is an ideal place to discover nature.
The entrance to the Jacques-Cartier National Park is less than 30 minutes from Quebec City (see #9 above). So, if you drive from Montreal, you have the choice between a base in the old town, a wooden house in the park or a wilderness walk with camping.
It’s pretty easy to get there from Montreal – just take the Trans-Canada Highway, follow the Jean Lezage Expressway to Quebec City, then take the 73/QC-175 northbound.
The entrance to the Jacques Cartier National Park and the small roads that lead out of it rise in half an hour.
The combination of lakes and rolling forests means that the views go in all directions, and the good news is that the National Park Road follows the Sautauriski River right into the heart of the park, making many of them very accessible.
If you want to spend some time fishing instead of walking, this is one of the best places to catch trout, but don’t forget to buy a (relatively expensive) permit first.
If you have more time and want to explore more of the wilderness, continue northeast to the Saguenay Fjords (#19 below), then head to Tadusak (#18) to see some of the best whales in the world.
to 4 hours drive from Montreal (371 km)
Prince Edward County has a relaxed atmosphere and is known for its vineyards.
The city of Hanananok is located where the Hanananok River flows into the St. Lawrence River – you’ll come across it as you drive west along the Thousand Islands National Park (see no. 8 above).
Many visitors are completely unaware of the city and head straight for the boats and cruises that take them to one of the Thousand Islands, which is a serious mistake.
The name of the city comes from the First Nations language and means city on two rivers, but once you’re there you’ll notice a typically European look and feel – many of the buildings will make you feel at home in a French provincial town.
Kingston also has many European roots and lies a little further west where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. After assessing the city’s charm, don’t forget to visit Fort Henry, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just before crossing the river to get to the city centre.
Prince Edward County is a 30-minute drive away on the north shore of Lake Ontario and is situated on a large island that flows into the lake. You can reach the island via the Quinte Skyway Bridge or try your luck on the Adolphustown ferry – but beware: this local ferry can carry only 21 cars per crossing, so you’ll have to wait a long time to get to Glenora.
If you’re a gourmet, this could be the best trip in Montreal. Prince Edward County is known for its great restaurants, and there are several pretty good wineries in the area. Try it a few times before you start laughing at the idea of drinking Canadian wine, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
to 5 hours from Montreal (439 km)
The beaver pond is one of about 2,400 lakes in the Algonquin Provincial Park.
If you want to get away from it all, in a very secluded location with relatively easy access from Montreal, then Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario is the perfect place to do so.
Sure – Quebec has many national parks and lots of nature that you can explore in almost any direction if you drive 5 hours from Montreal, but in Algonquin Provincial Park you can feel really far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Algonquin is a wonderful mix of dense pine forests and thousands of lakes – there are about 2400 in the park!
The easiest way is to take the Trans-Canada Highway through Ottawa and then follow Highway ON-60 from Renfrew, which takes you right into the heart of the park. Small roads lead to the north of the park, to a location of your choice overlooking the pristine lake surrounded by pine trees.
Hiking is as popular here as canoeing, where you can enjoy incredible views as you travel through a network of streams, rivers and lakes. Beware, because the animal world is not only inhabited by moose, deer and many beavers, but also by a large population of wolves and bears.
to 5 hours from Montreal (496 km)
Downtown Boston is a classic combination of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers.
If you are looking for the best stay in the city, where you can combine history, culture, the feel of a big city and a touch of comfort, then a 5 hour drive from Montreal to Boston is for you.
On the I-89 via Burlington (#3 above) and the I-91/I-93 via White Mountain National Forest (#11) it takes less than 5 hours to stop, so you can take several routes down and back – both offer beautiful scenery along the way.
As one of the most historic cities in the United States, there are numerous museums and art galleries – the Museum of Fine Arts is an absolute must if you only want to visit one.
To discover most of the city’s emblematic sights, you can spend the morning or afternoon on the Freedom Trail, which circles the city for 3.5 km, which you can do yourself without having to book a tour.
If you’re a sports fan, you can plan your trip to Boston’s incredible sports scene – the Patriots (American football), the Red Sox (baseball), the Celtics (basketball) and the Bruins (hockey) – each of the most award-winning teams in their respective sports, so take your pick!
16. Discover the charm of New England Portland, Maine
5 hours 10 minutes from Montreal (420 km)
Portland is the sea, and the iconic Portland Breakwater Light is the perfect stop on the way.
When one thinks of a visit to New England, one often thinks of Boston (no. 15 top right), Cape Cod of Providence, Rhode Island (no. 25 below).
For those who want to see the true soul of New England without hustle and bustle, Portland is the perfect place. That and the fact that the journey from Montreal to here is much faster than the other options.
Do not follow your browser when it tells you to follow the Interstate Express Route on I-89 and I-95 via Manchester and Portsmouth.
On paper it might take about the same length of time, but you’re still walking 150 km, which means you’ll probably both run into some kind of traffic jam and need an extra stop.
The most scenic route is to walk south on I-91/I-93 to Littleton, then through the White Mountain National Forest before reaching Portland. These may be small local streets, but you’ll like them a lot more!
The old port of the city is the destination of your trip. It is a historic city centre with lots of red bricks, excellent shops and restaurants. You can’t go to Portland and try lobster sandwiches.
The Portland Head lighthouse is located near the city in Fort Williams Park. It is the most photographed lighthouse in the United States and a true masterpiece.
If you want to extend your trip and see a bit of nature, Acadia National Park (#22 below), located near the coast, is an absolutely breathtaking place.
to 5 hours 20 minutes from Montreal (542 km)
The characteristic Toronto skyline appears as one moves from Montreal to the northern shore of Lake Ontario.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, a place where much of the country’s business is concentrated and is the center of many cultures and communities.
The journey from Montreal to Toronto is very easy. ON-401, which begins near Montreal on the Quebec-Ontario Highway, will follow the St. Lawrence River through the Thousand Islands (#8 above), Hananok, Kingston and Prince Edward County (#13) before ending in the turmoil of the western end of Lake Ontario.
You’ll notice huge skyscrapers – you’re approaching the city – Toronto has inherited the United States’ love of tall buildings, and the CNN Tower is the tallest building in the western hemisphere – you won’t miss it!
Toronto’s uniqueness lies in the countless different cultures that merge together in the city, giving it a unique atmosphere. It also means that there is a lot of art, neighborhoods and food to discover.
From Chinatown, which dates back to the 19th century. From the Fever District, where almost everything from streets to red brick buildings, you can explore different parts of Toronto for days and not see much.
Toronto is also an excellent stopover if you continue your journey by road – the ferry crossing will take you from Montreal to Niagara Falls (#21 below), Bruce Peninsula National Park (#23) or Manitulin Island (#24).
5 hours 40 minutes from Montreal (472 km)
The beautiful Tadusak Chapel is the oldest wooden church in Canada.
Tadusac is a beautiful town on the St. Lawrence river of Montreal, where the Sagene river flows into the river.
At this point the river is 20 km wide and begins to approach the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which means one thing. It’s big enough for whales from the North Atlantic.
The currents of the two rivers that flow together here create a unique environment in which plankton can thrive, and because whales like to eat it, more than a dozen different species of whales come to this area, from white whales to giant blue whales.
You can go on boat trips or just rent a kayak and paddle – if you spend a few hours you might see several whales nearby. Don’t forget that even on a hot summer day it can be very cold, so wear diapers.
To get to Tadoussac, you have to go to Quebec (either by the river or by the slightly faster Trans-Canada Highway) and from there continue along the northern bank of the river.
When you reach the Saguenai River, you must cross the road by ferry – the next bridge to Saguenai is at the top. The city of Tadusak is right next to the ferry terminal on the other side.
5 hours 40 minutes from Montreal (524 km)
The Saguenay Fjord National Park, located along the Saguenay River, is one of the quietest places in Quebec.
Sagenet Fiord is the valley through which the Sagenet River flows, from Lake Saint John to St. John. It is one of the most beautiful regions of Quebec, and it is well worth the trip from Montreal.
There are two different routes to drive from Montreal to the Saguenay Fjord. For both routes you must first go to Quebec (see #9 above). From there it’s a little faster to take the 175 to Sagena, before going to Saint-Siméon via the fjord or the St. Lawrence river, and take the 170 instead.
The Saguenay Fjord National Park is very remote – Saguenay in the north and Tadusak in the south are 1 and 2 hours away respectively, and they are both very small towns. Quebec City is 3 hours away. To make the most of your visit, you’ll want to camp.
Camping Baye Eternite, located at the entrance of the park in Notre Dame Street, is a good option. If you don’t have a tent, you can bathe in an already set up tent or walk around and spend the night in a cottage, depending on how close you want to be to nature.
In addition to hiking, kayaking in the fjord and cycling routes, you can also try the Via Ferrata, a guided and safe climbing route that takes you into the valley, with breathtaking views and the possibility of crossing the gorge on an 85-metre suspension bridge.
Don’t forget to book in advance to avoid disappointment!
to 6 hours from Montreal (598 km)
Everyone should visit New York City at least once in their lifetime.
It seems that the Big Apple is far away from Montreal, and before you really look at the road, you would think that the trip to New York would take much more than 6 hours.
In fact, most people who visit New York prefer to travel by plane, with frequent flights between the two cities. However, if you take into account the time it takes to get to the airport, check in and go through security, wait for your flight, get on the plane, get off the plane, go through security and pick up your things on the other side before you leave the airport for the city, then you will probably have the same travel time.
Best of all, you can stop at any great spot on the road, including Lake Champlain (#3 above), Upper New York City’s Adirondack Park (#1) or make a detour to Long Island or New England.
However, if you are coming to New York, parking your car for the duration of your stay – subway and taxi – is a much better way to travel.
There is no need to present options. Filming Manhattan from the top of a Central Park cliff and watching the lights of Times Square is why New York City attracts so many visitors from all over the world.
The selection of restaurants is probably the best in the world, Broadway musicals and theatre productions keep you awake at night and in different parts of New York City you can explore unique places for weeks on end.
6 hours 40 minutes from Montreal (535 km)
Niagara Falls is a spectacular sight on the border between Canada and the US.
Niagara Falls can only be the most famous group of waterfalls in the world, located on the border between Canada and the United States.
There are a total of three waterfalls – Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls – and they are easily accessible from both the Canadian and American side.
Surprisingly, whatever it is, it’s a long drive to see the waterfall, so you’ll probably want to make a few stops along the way – whether it’s to wander the streets of Toronto or relax with a glass of wine in Prince Edward County.
It takes almost as long to reach Niagara Falls, on the north or south coast of Lake Ontario, but the northern route is not only more beautiful, but also offers more good stops.
Breathtaking waterfalls let huge amounts of water through every day, but surprisingly, up to three quarters of the water is diverted to a hydroelectric plant that produces most of the electricity consumed in Ontario and the state of New York.
Don’t miss Niagara On-The Lake – it’s worth the trip alone and is perfect for an afternoon walk or overnight stay if you want to see the waterfall early and well-lit before the crowds arrive from Toronto and further inland.
6 hours 20 minutes from Montreal (668 km)
Akadia National Park is one of the best places to explore nature on the east coast.
That’s true – if you come from Montreal and want to spend some time in the national park, Quebec and Ontario offer a wide range of possibilities. This list includes 4 of them, as well as many other places where you can hike and camp under the stars.
But there is a very good reason why you should consider going to Maine to visit New England’s only national park – Acadia is truly breathtaking.
The road takes you all day with more than 6 hours of clean driving and although the route is picturesque, you will not pass through cities or remarkable places to stop.
Continue straight ahead on the Appalachian Trail and pass Bigelow Mountain Reserve just before reaching the famous Sugarloaf Mountain ski resort.
Acadia is located on an isolated mountainous island off the coast of Maine, the second largest island on the east coast after Long Island in the state of New York, and Acadia National Park covers most of the island.
This is probably just the best national park for a leisurely stroll – the paths are breathtaking, the views are breathtaking, the beautiful cliffs rise to the ocean, and the small towns and delicious restaurants in the area so you can stop for lunch.
You can spend a week here without doing most of the incredible walking, and there are boat trips and quirky local museums (the Seal Cove Car Museum in the west of the island is a great stop).
If you want to see more of New England on your road trip, you can drive along the coast to Portland, Maine (drive slowly on Hwy 1 instead of the Interstate) and a while further south to Massachusetts in Boston.
8 hours 30 minutes from Montreal (811 km)
Breathtaking view of the Georgian Gulf of Khuron from the Bruce Trail
Photo of Facto/Shutterstock.com
The Bruce Peninsula is a rocky spur that separates Georgia Bay from the rest of Lake Huron in Ontario, northwest of Toronto.
The drive from Montreal to the Bruce Peninsula takes you west along the St. Lawrence River, then along the northern shore of Lake Ontario before heading northwest in Missisauga.
It’s a long road if you plan to do it in one day and if you plan to camp on the other side, you won’t want to come in the dark. Fortunately, many of the above routes, including Thousand Islands National Park (No. 8), Gananoke, Kingston County and Price Edward (No. 13) and Toronto (No. 17), are all excellent stops.
Bruce Peninsula National Park is best known for its natural beauty. From squirrels to black bears, there is a lot of wildlife and there are really great hiking trails.
The most famous route is the Bruce Trail, which actually stretches 900 km from the Niagara River on the border with the United States to the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula – from the parts approaching the northern tip there are truly amazing views, including the famous overhang.
Don’t forget that parking and camping can be delayed during the warmer months, so don’t forget to book them in advance. Think about your itinerary – if you want to visit places like the cave, you’ll have to park separately, and even if that gives you the best part of $20 or more, it’s worth the trip.
9 hours 30 minutes from Montreal (855 km)
Missississagi Lighthouse is located on the tip of Manitoulin Island overlooking Cockburn Island.
Manitulin Island lies to the north of the Bruce Peninsula, which separates the Bay of Georgia from Lake Khuron and is known as the largest freshwater island in the world.
It is so big that it has over 100 lakes, and many of these lakes have their own islands! Before your mind is immersed in an infinite succession of islands within the islands, let’s consider two ways to get to Manitulin.
The fastest route from Montreal to Manitoulin is the Trans-Canada Highway, which goes through Ottawa (see number 6 above), past Algonquin National Park and through North Bay and Sudbury. Route 6 to the south leads from island to island and then lands directly on Manitulin Island.
The other route is to follow the northern shore of Lake Ontario to Toronto, then north to the Bruce Peninsula before taking the ferry. This option extends the already long journey by about 2 hours, and don’t forget to book a place on the ferry in advance so your car can board!
To keep things interesting, the best way to get to the island and comb through the different routes is to go. So you can also add many stops along the way, which we do on the shorter routes mentioned above!
Besides the breathtaking nature of the island, you can also discover the interesting culture of the Anishinaabe people, who have special protected areas and interesting towns worth visiting.
The most important tip is to start the day early on the Cup and Saucer Trail – this treetop walk will take you to a pine cliff, which offers the best views of the island, but you should arrive early to avoid a much more stressful time later in the morning.
10 hours from Montreal (800+ km)
It will take some time, but if you have at least a week and want to see some of the most historic parts of the United States and the major cities of New England, it’s a great trip from Montreal to the other side of the United States.
Take the I-89 via Lake Champlain or the I-93 through the White Mountain National Forest to Boston (#15 above) – you can easily drive a day with stops.
After exploring the historic city for a while, you can visit some of the historic cities in the region – Salem and Roquefort are a great option, as are Plymouth, the oldest city in New England.
Cape Cod meanders around Cape Cod Bay and has large small towns, long relaxing beaches along the national coast of Cape Cod and the provincial town at the head. It’s a relaxed coastal town that brings buckets of history – after which Mayflower pilgrims set foot on American soil for the first time.
South of Cape Town there are two islands – Martha’s vineyard is closer and easier to reach, and Nantucket is a little further away. You can take the ferries to both islands, but be sure to book in advance – space for the car may be limited and the ferries may be relatively expensive, so you may only want to choose one of the islands for your trip.
To complete your exploration of historic New England, go to Rhode Island, visit Newport and Providence, end your journey by road and return to Montreal.